So about 2 weeks or so ago, I accepted a croissant challenge from Heavenly Housewife to make the oh-so-delicious (and oh-so-laborious) Parisian butter croissant. I had made them once before, years back when I was trudging away in Paris, studying (or rather cooking/baking/sweating) at my culinary alma mater Le Cordon Bleu. So yes, I had some instruction on how to make them once-upon-a-time looooong ago. But believe you me, I was still taking deep lamaze-ish breaths, and trying to psych myself up mentally for this challenge. I was a bit nervous! As simple as croissants are on one hand (butter-flour-egg-yeast), they’re kind of like a long-winded dance, with multiple steps that you have to get just right. They take time and practice to master. And even though I knew this, and recognized the resistance I felt towards making them, I still had all these grandiose plans of the different variations I would make. “Oh,” I thought, “I could make an almond pastry cream filling, and a ham and cheese version.” And then I got really excited when I though of my all-time favorite croissant: the German pretzel
croissant. Its a combination of two of my favorite things in this world, deep colored bavarian pretzels and flaky buttery croissants.
As usual I totally underestimated my available time. Lets see, I have 2 young children and a husband who need to eat (more than just cereal and buttered toast in between my blog posts unfortunately). And I haven’t really gotten too personal on this blog yet, but my husband has been seriously ill for the past 6 months, so that’s been a big strain on our family. I’m not complaining, really. I love to cook, bake, and blog and its been almost therapeutic for me. I find myself thinking of ideas and recipes at night when I’m lying awake, or in the car while I’m stuck in traffic. The kitchen has always been a place where I unwind and get to create. Even if afterwards I’m left with a heap of unwashed dishes and think to myself “how is this relaxing?”
So all that to say… I sadly had to put my pretzel croissant, almond filling and ham and cheese fantasies to rest. The butter croissants were fabulous though. Nerves aside, I never back down from a culinary challenge. I live for it! I have a subscription to finecooking.com and they had a really helpful audio-photo walkthrough of the whole croissant-making process, just like I was watching my chef instructor back at Le Cordon Bleu. I made a few chocolate filled croissants which my kids were sooo happy to take off of my hands. And my little 4 year old daughter, who helped roll all the chocolate croissants, was so excited to take a warm buttery basketful to her preschool teachers this morning. So in the end, all were happy.
Except I’m still dreaming of those pretzel croissants *sigh*.
Don’t worry, I’ll get over it! I’m going to sneak over to Rockenwagner bakery today and grab a few…. and beg for some pretzel lye to indulge my fantasy of making it sometime soon. Hey I still have one more batch of dough in my fridge!
So, yes, after all that unnecessary fretting they turned out faaaaa-bulous daaaahlings! (H.H. shout out, lol). We ate them with the the last of the glorious
white peach butter I made last week. Its been sinful, absolutely sinful!
Now that I’ve got the hang of of it, I’m definetly going to do a tutorial on how I made these delicious calorie bombs of butteriness. However, today in order to make my monday challenge deadline I will only be able to leave you with these photos… happy drooling!